Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business coaching, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laurent Notin, an entrepreneur, coach, mentor and podcaster.
What's your business and who are your customers?
I'm an Entrepreneur, Coach To Entrepreneurs, Start-up Mentor, Podcast Host, and CrossFit addict.
Being an entrepreneur is exciting and it's also the toughest job I know. The biggest risk entrepreneurs face is to be on their way.
My job is to help them unlock themselves from situations they've created.
Tell us about yourself
I was born to help people. I just can’t help it, it’s stronger than me. I especially love all those “aha” moments people get when they have a breakthrough for instance. Being a coach enables me to lead entrepreneurs to those moments over and over again. It’s my greatest reward.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Having a sense of purpose. It took me a while to find it but it gets me out of bed every day and makes me happy.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Looking at the big picture. Many business owners get buried under the myriad tasks they deal with daily. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of doing everything.
The problem is, the more you do everything, the more difficult it becomes to take a step back from your business and look at the big picture.
Why do you need to look at the big picture? To stop, think, organize your thoughts before executing.
So you focus on what matters most for instance, instead of getting lost in details. If you don't, you will reach a point where you suffocate and get locked into situations you don't control, precisely because you can't take a step back.
Then you're swamped. It's like drowning in water without being able to come back to the surface and breathe. When that happens, you’re stuck. When you’re stuck, your business is stuck.
What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1. Running a business is a journey. Prepare for the long run, so cultivate persistence. Entrepreneurs usually start from something that doesn’t exist and build it up piece by piece.
The construction never ends though. There’s always an extra piece to add, and there's no shortcut. The chance you fail is high. Overnight success only exists on social media.
2. Don’t worship money. VCs have turned start-ups into commodities for their benefit. A commodity is a raw material that can be bought and sold, like coffee or copper. Is your company a commodity?
VCs glorify money because their job is to get high returns on investments fast. And ROI is their measure of success. For founders, it can turn into a big slap in the face because while they’re dreaming about being the next unicorn and focusing all their energy onto that elevator pitch they think will change their life forever, they forget one thing: everything else!
Your primary source of fundings will always be your customers, never VCs. Instead of preparing for one round of investments after the other, you should focus on building your business foundations. Otherwise, it’s like building a house without foundations. You are doomed to collapse even before starting. Money is always a means to an end, never the end.
3. Surround yourself with the right people. You won’t succeed without the help of others. By others, I mean people within your organization, like your co-founders and employees, as well as people outside your start-up such as advisors, mentors, or coaches like myself. Get the best people for your business, starting with your co-founders.
By best, I don’t mean being the best in their field of expertise. I mean having a combination of the right attitude and technical skills. In addition, remember that the difficulties you may face have certainly been tackled by others. Learn from people who have walked the walk before you. They can help you save significant time and achieve more.
The biggest risk you face is to become the main bottleneck of your own business because everything is tied around you. Don’t be that founder. Surround yourself with people who can support you and with whom you can share the load.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
I'd be more systematic with my sales processes, especially focusing on better understanding my customers.
You could have the best product or service in the world, if you don't sell it, you have 0 business. In our digital era, we have the tendency to hide behind the algorithm or the app.
We forget one thing: There’s always another human being clicking on the Buy button behind the app.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Having routines, like in the morning: I get up early, enjoy my breakfast, work out, and have my 2nd breakfast. Then, the rest of my day is free for work.
Although it's my company, I work to live, not the opposite. I try to remember it's only a job and there are other things way more important in my life, like spending time with my family or enjoying a walk in the forest.
I don't define success by how much money I have or how big a car I own. Success for me is being able to be more present in everything I do, making the biggest positive impact on people, and simply enjoying life.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and why?
I follow the following people:
Simon Sinek, because I love his ability to simplify complex topics. I recommend his books Start With Why, and The Infinite Game.
Seth Godin, he's a marketing genius.
I'd recommend reading From Good To Great by Jim Collins, and Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check us out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.